I was getting my hair cut tonight and my favorite ever hairdresser, Amy, and I were talking about what we were having for dinner. I told her that we are having meatballs, and she told me that she has never made meatballs. I thought this was nothing short of a crying shame because people love meatballs and they are super easy to make, and are a delicious vehicle for countless sauces and whatnots. So I told her that I would post it on my bliggity for all to see and now her house will also become a meatball loving house. :)
(Interestingly, Amy told me that she never makes meatloaf either. Also a crying shame, as meatloaf = delicious, but her reason cracked me up – Amy doesn’t make meatloaf because she hates the word “meatloaf” and doesn’t want to have to answer with the forbidden word when her family says “What’s for dinner?” LOL)
So here, for Amy and all of you, is a pretty healthy meatball recipe that can be adjusted to the likings of your family…. We add spinach for extra texture, flavor, and nutrition - and because, oddly enough, Hootie loves it - it is one of the few green veggies she will actually eat. So needless to say, we sneak spinach into a lot of things. :)
Turkey Meatballs with Spinach
· 1lb ground turkey breast
· 3 eggs, beaten
· ½ lb frozen spinach, thawed and with the moisture squeezed out (thaw it in the microwave and then wrap it in a towel and squeeze the water out.
· ¾ c. Italian breadcrumbs
· 1 c. shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese
· ½ c. grated parmesan
· 2 cloves of garlic, pressed or grated
· Salt and pepper to taste
· Olive oil for frying – I couple of turns of the pan is all, like 3 or four tbsp.
In a big bowl, mix all ingredients (except olive oil of course) until evenly distributed. You don’t have to mix it a lot, and I usually use my hands for this part.
Heat the oil over a medium heat in a large skillet. Form meat mixture into little balls about the size of a golf ball. This is a size that is easy to make, but sometimes I also like to make little bitty marble size ones that Hoot can pick up with her fingers. It’s up to you. :) Place the meatballs in the heated pan. Now you let them cook, turning them over now and then, until all of the sides are browned and the meat is cooked through.
Voila! You have meatballs. They are really good and easy, and you can just heat a jar of red spaghetti sauce and plop them in there for a few minutes to be eaten with spaghetti. Tonight, I make them with a mushroom stroganoff sauce and whole wheat egg noodles. It was super tasty, so I will share the sauce with you too:
Mushroom Stroganoff Gravy for Meatballs
· 1 large container of sliced button mushrooms
· 3 tbsp. of olive oil
· 1 small can of beef broth
· 2 tbsp. of Wondra Flour
· ¼ cup cold water
· 2 tbsp. grape jelly (sounds weird, but trust me, it’s good. If you don’t have grape jelly on hand, use whatever jelly you do have. I used leftover cranberry sauce from thanksgiving tonight.)
· ½ c. sour cream (or, if you want it lower in fat and calories, Greek yogurt or fat-free sour cream will work, too.)
· Salt and paper to taste
Heat oil in same skillet you cooked your meat balls in (remove the meatballs first of course) and add mushrooms. Sprinkle with salt. Let them cook, stirring occasionally. While that is cooking, mix Wondra flour and water together in a little bowl – mix until all the lumps are gone. When the mushrooms are soft and have a little color on them, pour the beef broth in the pan. Slowly add the Wondra and water mixture while stirring. Let the whole thing cook until the gravy is thickened and bubbling. Stir in jelly and sour cream and stir until the sauce is smooth. Season to taste. Add Meatballs back to pan and let them warm back up in the hot sauce. Serve over egg noodles.
And EASY. For real – the whole thing will take a half hour, tops. Maybe longer if you have “help” from a nearly 11 month old – and by “help” I mean the emptying of cupboards and drawers, spreading toys all over, getting into the Christmas tree, bugging the dog, playing her dad’s guitar, bumping her head, crying “Maamaa!!” and clinging to your pants. I find that this “help” is not very helpful really, but it is pretty cute and funny.
And look at it.
Looks good, right?
Hootie likes it, too.
I enjoy writing these recipes out on this blog. I usually make ‘em up as I go when I am cooking. I hope you like them too. If you make these, leave me a comment and tell me if you liked it. Or heck, tell me if you didn’t. I really do want to know. :)